Future Fires is a programme that supports young artists to develop a socially-engaged art project in their own community.
Every day this week we are introducing each member of our#FutureFires20 cohort who will be #SupportedByContact for the next 12 months to create a project that will use their artistic skills to make a difference in the community.
My name is Hannah Weiner, I am 18 years old and my Future Fires project is That2This Theatre Project. It involves bringing together teenagers aged 12-16 from estates and underprivileged backgrounds to write and create theatre and poetry about the current climate and the stigmas they are facing. The project will run using only sustainable and eco-friendly resources, to prove that recycling and being green can be brought into the theatre and to lower income backgrounds.
If you had to sum up your project in five words, what would they be?
Community, acceptance, fun, free and sustainable.
What motivated you to start your project?
My project was developed from a lot of passion and anger about the stigmas faced by working class and estate teenagers who don’t have the same privileges as other young adults. Growing up, it felt like people were always blaming younger people for the current global issues, when in reality that’s not true.
With this project I really want to reach young people who are experiencing the same things that I did growing up. I really struggled in the early years of school because I was labelled as a ‘bottom set kid’ and I had a short concentration span. People found it easier to label me as a naughty which wasn’t the case as I loved to learn and perform, and always wanted to run my own theatre in the future.
I want to prove that people are not what they’re born into, and use that as motivation to create something positive and constructive. I want to give theatre to the many, not just the few who can afford to do it.
The other aspect of this project is to be as eco-friendly as possible. I try to practise green living, and I’d like to encourage the participants I work with to do this too within their own practice. Theatre productions especially can produce a lot of waste in terms of set and energy use, so reducing this as much as possible is important to me.
How are you finding the Future Fires programme?
I thoroughly enjoy Future Fires and would want anyone who is eligible for the programme to apply next year, as it’s been one of the best and most enjoyable things I have done in the theatre industry. I find it challenges me and makes me think outside my own head and experiences. It has also helped me get a foot onto a career choice ladder and helped me pinpoint what I want to do in future, offering many ranges of opportunities that I wouldn’t have found otherwise.
Now for the pressing questions!
You are locked in Contact for a week with ONE person, who would you choose and why?
If I were to be locked in Contact for a week, I would pick my dad. We have endless conversations about so many random topics that pass a lot of time. He is also is very creative and could make a comfortable spot somewhere to hibernate until we were allowed out!
Favourite place to eat?
This was the hardest question of them all to answer as I love all food and any food! I would have to say Fig and Sparrow in Manchester’s Northern Quarter. I have many fond memories with friends there and they do amazing fresh food. It also has a great atmosphere.
Favourite quote or motto?
My favourite motto which isn’t really a motto but it sticks with me is a line from the Chas and Dave song ‘Strummin’ which quite simply says ‘I know I’ve got some good times coming’. It’s one of my favourite songs by my favourite musicians and has moulded me into the person I am today.
Anything else you’d like to add?
A huge thank you to my family and friends for all their support during this process. To Rose and Rory and all the Contact team for their guidance and knowledge throughout the sessions, and to the other Future Fires for a creative and accepting atmosphere.
Follow Hannah on Twitter to keep up to date with her project: @that2thisTP.
Visit our Future Fires page to learn more about the project as a whole.